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[123] After they had thus spoken Cassius and Brutus returned directly to the Capitol, because they had not yet entire confidence in the present posture of affairs. Having first enabled their friends and relatives to come to them in the temple, they chose from among them messengers to treat on their behalf with Lepidus and Antony for conciliation and the preservation of liberty, and for warding off the evils that would befall the country if they should not come to an agreement. This the messengers asked, not extolling the deed that had been done, however, for they did not dare to do this in the presence of Cæsar's friends. They asked that it be tolerated now that it was done, out of pity for the perpetrators (who had been actuated, not by hatred toward Cæsar, but by love of country), and out of compassion for the city exhausted by long-continued civil strife, and which a new sedition might deprive of the good men still remaining. "If enmity were entertained against certain persons," they said, "it would be an act of impiety to gratify it in a time of public danger. It would be far preferable to sink private animosity in the public weal, or, if anybody were irreconcilable, at least to postpone his private grievances for the present."

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